Imagine that you are a healthy, independent, middle-aged, 383-year-old who, other than occasional aches and pains, is feeling good, working and playing hard and prospering. Having procrastinated longer than you should have, you decide to report to the local clinic for your overdue decennial physical exam.
After spending nine months on your case, the clinic’s diagnostic team tells you that one of your organs — your RTM* to be exact — is enlarged and a surgical resection is necessary to reduce its size.
Understandably concerned, you ask them how this is possible since you are in such obvious good health that they did not even bother to run any diagnostic tests on you to see if you had any wellness problems.
Their response is that individual diagnostic tests can be confusing because there are so many potential influences on health and well-being, so instead they “rely on the research, analysis and insights of academic research which provides indicators with which to make these decisions,” and based on these “recognized research studies” it is clear that almost everyone else has a smaller RTM*, bigger is not better, smaller is now “the norm,” and it is not good “to stay the same forever.” They also note that you should be relieved they are only going to lop off 25% of your RTM because they really wanted to do a complete “RTM-ectomy.”
When you remind them that your RTM* was recently cut by 20%, they say that was not enough, but the fact that you did just fine afterwards proves there is no reason to worry about any side effects or unintended consequences from another 25% cut.
When you point out that like others you are unique in important ways and thus perhaps one RTM* size does not fit all, they condescendingly respond that “change is difficult” and “all change comes with uncertainty, adjustment to new conditions” and “temporary discomfort,” but you should not be afraid because what’s left of your RTM will work even better with its “cream rising to the top,” so you should simply trust the experts as much as they do, which is completely.
So, Fairfield, are you willing to trust these experts and sign the surgical consent form for this operation?
[*The full poli-scientific name for this organ is the Representative Town Meeting, a governmental body unique to some New England municipalities, including Fairfield.]
Bud Morten lives in Fairfield.